Puducherry is a city and capital of the Pondicherry (officially Puducherry) union territory of Southern India. There is a strong French influence on the architecture of the city, especially in the old quarters, with Rues and Boulevards lined with Mediterranean-style houses and bakeries, although the city remains very much Indian. French is still understood, and the whole city makes for a pleasant mix of the East and the West.
Pondichérry, though small in geographical size, was the largest French colony in India. The city has a long and interesting history of trade and war. It is also known as The French Riviera of the East (La Côte d'Azur de l'Est).
If you have spent some time in Tamil Nadu and approached Pondichérry by land, you will very likely experience mild culture shock on discovering French architecture and restaurants serving steak and good wine. Pondichérry is very much a city with a dual personality: crossing the central canal from the east to the west reveals two different cities with very different characters.